The in-house conference came about as a result of a tight budget, which didn’t allow for many teachers to travel to out-of-town conferences, and the desire of local teachers to receive more training, said Director of Teacher Quality Valerie Mercer.
Topics covered over the course of three days include seminars such as “Teaching Tools for the 21st Century K-12,” “Differentiation for Special Populations K-12” and a keynote address titled “How Are We Respecting Our Students As We Differentiate Instruction?”
In fact, during a pre-conference workshop on Monday, teachers went through a simulation of what it is like to be a student with learning disabilities, Mercer said, as this experience may help them improve their instruction for that student population.
Presenters at the conference are locally and nationally recognized experts on educational subjects.
With the beginning of the upcoming school year, conference participants will be able to put in place what they’ve learned, thus improving their relationships with students and ideally raising students’ grades.
“We want to see it in action,” said Mercer, adding that the school system will do follow-ups on the material taught at the conference. Teachers will also be provided a number of resources so that they can continue their learning, she said.
Although a great number of teachers had asked for additional training, the conference merely serves as a means to build on abilities already present.
“We are just honing and sharpening skills,” Mercer said. “We are just excited to have a good opportunity like this in-house.”